Review: Word on Word
Word games never get old. Over the years there have been plenty variations on Scrabble and word search games. After looking for something new, I came across Word on Word, it's a dated title, but brings a new way to apply both planning and vocabulary. Giving you a loose literary equivalent of Columns or Bejeweled, could this keep your mental dictionary engaged and enthralled? Read on to find out.
Version Reviewed: 1.00
Before we start, it should be said that Word on Word appears to be a relatively old title. Its help page refers to controlling the game with a 12-key keypad. And, while it has a touch interface, the controls are quite small, reflecting early third party applications seen in the S60 5th Edition days. As such, playing the game seriously would require one to be quite sympathetic to this.
The game starts by giving you five random letter tiles along the bottom of a seven by seven grid. Before the rest of the letters start coming you can rearrange those initial five. As you play, you are told which letter is along next, which gives you a limited ability to plan ahead – as opposed to knowing, say, the next three letters.
The object of the game is to score as many points as possible by creating words – either downwards or left to right, but no diagonals. Completed words don't create new space to make more words; there is a constant 49 tiles per game (seven by seven, remember?). As each tile becomes available, you just have to select which column to drop it down. Each round there is one 'joker' tile which can be any letter you like.
Completed words are indicated by red lines. In some cases you can extend words, and in other cases, one word line is removed in favour of another. For example putting an 'A' in front of 'HAT' will take the red line off 'HAT' and place it over 'AHA'. This behaviour wasn't consistent, but I couldn't quite spot the pattern as to when it would do so; e.g. adding a P to 'OW' doesn't upgrade the word to 'POW'.
The poor comprehensibility, such as the above kind of issue, was what ultimately spoiled the gaming experience for me with Word on Word, more than the poorly adapted (for touch) user interface. This extended to the online competitive play mode which is supposed to work via Facebook – However, there's no mention of "Word on Word" on Facebook at all – presumably the application came and went on Facebook. Speaking of the user interface, it's plagued by tiny touch areas, which make it difficult for one's stubby finger tips to hit the mark each time.
It's a shame that this title hasn't been updated for full touch interfaces and made easier to understand, because the basic premise of the game is actually very intriguing. As you play there's the constant dilemma – to keep making little words, and hope serendipity strikes to get a horizontal and vertical word at the same time; or to build up longer words over time, whereby you'll inevitably have to toss difficult letters (such as 'W' or 'Z') elsewhere, possibly blocking future words.
There's a free version and a paid version (£1.00) on the Nokia Store. Take a look at the free version if you're curious, but if you want a serious word game, I'd recommend Word Tiles Multiplayer instead.
Reviewed by David Gilson at